KRALENDIJK – Over the past few weeks, the promotional team of Guana Chat has been visiting all primary schools to inform students about Guana Chat. Guana Chat is a telephone helpline for all children and young people in Bonaire aged 8-21. Calling Guana Chat is free and anonymous. Children and young people can call Guana Chat to talk about various topics.
The Guana Chat helpline is a collaboration between the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), the public bodies of BES, and the children’s helpline in Aruba (‘Telefon pa Hubentud’). The mentors who answer the phone are trained volunteers from Aruba, where the children’s helpline has been operating for 25 years. They are not familiar with our young people, ensuring the anonymity of the callers. These Aruban mentors speak four languages. The prevention coordinators from Sentro Akseso Boneiru have provided them with extensive cultural information about education and the traditions of Bonaire. Young people can turn to Guana Chat with all their questions, challenges, and problems. Or just to have a chat!
State Secretary Van Ooijen (VWS) says: “It is great that the helpline is now available on all the Caribbean Netherlands islands. It is very important for children and young people to have a place where they can seek help with their concerns and questions. Sometimes, a listening ear is exactly what they need.”
The toll-free number 918 is available daily from 2 pm to 6 pm. More information about the helpline and the various topics children and young people can discuss can be found on the website http://www.guanachat918.com. The promotional team from Sentro Akseso Boneiru and ZJCN has visited groups 5 to 8 of the primary schools in recent weeks to inform children about the helpline and the website where they can find more information. Parents have received a letter with information about this helpline through the schools. The toll-free number is available for Bonairian numbers from Digicel and Flow. Customers of other providers cannot yet use this free service. They will be able to join at a later time.
On July 8, Guana Chat will participate in the Buki di Pret event organized by Sentro Akseso Boneiru. This event for primary school children will take place at the Sentro di Bario in Tera Kora and will feature stands on health, games, shows, and much more. Guana Chat will be present with a photo board, information, and keychains to distribute. Young people can call Guana Chat together with the promotional team to have an initial conversation on a topic of their choice. The event will take place from 3 pm to 5 pm on Saturday, July 8th.